Liam Martin has revealed he scored the winning try against South Sydney – securing Penrith the minor premiership in the process – with two torn ligaments in his ankle.
The back-rower was a huge doubt for the game after limping out of the defeat to Melbourne last Thursday night, but said the club’s medical staff had told him that the ligaments weren’t essential.
“I tore the lateral ligaments, the ATFL (Anterior Talo-Fibular Ligament) and the CTFL (Calcaneofibular ligament) and a bit of the deltoid,” he said.
“You don’t really need them, apparently, and you can just strap it up and get on with it. I could have [missed some weeks] but I didn’t really need to because I could get through it.”
Things had looked bad for Martin last week when he left the Storm game, though captain Isaah Yeo joked in the press conference that the rest of the team had thought the whole injury was a bit of a carry on.
“It wasn’t as bad as I first thought,” said Martin. “The first couple of days afterwards was pretty painful and I couldn’t really walk on it, but it just kept getting better and better.
“Four days out from the game, I said to the physios that I wanted to see if I could play this game. I got through most of the training through the week and was good to go.
“The days after, I thought there was no way I could play on it. I was still on crutches and it was really painful, but it came good pretty quickly.”
Martin was at the heart of everything for Penrith in the 26-22 nail-biter over the Bunnies.
Before scoring his vital late try, he might have scored twice. In hte first half, he failed to touch down a Sean O’Sullivan kick, while in the second, he spilled the ball over the line under pressure from Souths centre Isaiah Tass.
Suffice to say, he was happy to get the winner.
“They were butcher jobs,” he laughed. “When I scored the third one, all the boys were like ‘ oh my god, we were going to spray you after the game’.
“I was so glad to get over the line. I obviously bombed the first two and was kicking stones for 75 minutes of the game going ‘geez I’ve cost the boys the win’ so to get the last one made it feel a lot better.”